How to Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions as a Couple
New Year, new me? Not according to research! 23% of individuals quit their New Year’s resolutions in the first week. Some of the biggest reasons for failure are setting unrealistic goals, setting too many goals, not keeping track of progress, and forgetting about resolutions.
Keep reading to learn how you can be part of the 9% that successfully keep their resolutions.
Set SMART Goals
I often hear couples setting goals around fitness, like saying “we are going to work out together” or making a commitment to focus more on their relationship. While a goal to “be more intentional about our relationships” sounds wonderful, it is too ambiguous. One way of ensuring that your resolutions are achievable is by making them SMART. SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely.
- S: Set clear and specific goals so that they are easier to accomplish. You can ask yourself “Who, what, where, when” to help make your goals concrete. For example, you can make a commitment to prioritize romance in your relationship by going on a date once a month.
- M: Quantify your goals in order to track your progress. How will you measure that you have made improvements? So by agreeing to go on a date once a month, you can easily measure if you have honored your commitment.
- A: Make sure that your goals are not out of reach and are attainable. Consider if going on a date once a month is realistic for your coupledom or what you would have to do in order to make it achievable. For example, do you have to ask your babysitter ahead of time if they can shift their hours?
- R: Think about why this goal is important to you and how it is aligned with your values. Having a clear purpose acts as motivation and helps stay on tack. So remind yourselves that you are prioritizing “us” time because you want to have a healthy, strong and loving marriage.
- T: Set an end-date to help you stay focused and motivated. When will you check in on your goals?
Here are some other examples of SMART relationship goals:
- S: We will each set aside $50 a week for 6 months to book a romantic trip to Paris
- M: We will collectively save $100 a week, and will have $2,400 saved in 6 months
- A: We save that amount anyway but the money usually goes to our personal accounts
- R: We want to create loving and exciting memories together
- T: We will have enough money to book our trip in 6 months
- S: We will work out together for a minimum of 30 minutes, twice a week (Mondays and Thursdays) until April 30th
- M: We will measure progress using our fitness trackers
- A: We do not have many meetings on Mondays and Thursdays so we will be able to allocate at least 30 minutes to fitness
- R: We want to improve our overall health
- T: We will workout for at least 30 minutes, twice a week until April 30th
Check in Regularly
The great part about setting New Year’s resolutions as a couple is that you can help motivate each other, track your progress and alter your goals as needed.
Check in on your resolutions regularly to reflect what has been working well and what needs to be addressed. You can decide how often you would like to have your State of the Union (once a week, once a month) as long as you are meeting consistently and the time in between your check ins make sense given your goals.
Ensure that you are both mentally prepared and present, and ask the following questions:
- What went well? Discuss any progress that you have noticed and offer appreciation.
- What was challenging? Share any difficulties.
- How can we support each other? Explore what you can do to help each other.
Whether you still need to set your New Year’s resolutions, or want to review them - check that you have set SMART goals, and schedule at least one check in date!